Hitting the notes, but what’s the tune?

ACCA and Deloitte, a leading professional services firm, have worked together on this joint report, exploring the current and anticipated future challenges in narrative reporting within annual reports.

The report is based on telephone interviews with 231 CFOs, group finance directors or equivalent within publicly accountable entities (preparers of annual reports) in Australia, China, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the US, conducted from April to June 2010. 

The survey asked these preparers for their thoughts on the current challenges in preparing narrative reports and the future shape of narrative reporting. It defined narrative reporting as everything contained in a company’s annual report and accounts (except for the audited financial statements and the audit report). 

In-depth interviews, principally to explore the main findings from the telephone interviews, were also conducted with CFOs, group finance directors and their equivalents at the following companies:

  • Centum Investments Company Ltd (Kenya)
  • Dubai Insurance Company (UAE)
  • Exco Resources (Australia)
  • Kellogg Company (Us)
  • Straco Corporation (Singapore)
  • Spirent Communications plc (UK)
  • Time dotCom (Malaysia).

Institutional investor perspectives on narrative reporting were obtained through interviews with experts from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and the national Association of Pension Funds (nAPF).

The in-depth interviews are reported exclusively on pages 14 to 19 of this report.